Zebras are instantly recognizable from their black and white stripes. Although they are some of the most popular and widely known wild animals in the world, I bet there’s a lot about zebras that you don’t know. Here are 11 interesting facts about zebras.
1. There are three species of zebra and they all live in Africa. These three species are the plains zebra, Grevy’s zebra, and the mountain zebra.
2. Zebras are equids, the same family as the horse. They can also interbreed with other equids, too, such as donkeys and horses.
3. The now extinct quagga, who looked like a cross between a zebra and a donkey, is now thought to be a subspecies of the plains zebra.
4. Zebras live in herds, which are led by a stallion and consist of a few hundred individuals. Sometimes herds need to migrate to find food and when they do, they form super herds of thousands of zebras. Sometimes these super herds also include other herbivores, such as wildebeest or antelope.
5. If you’re wondering whether a zebra has black stripes or white, it’s white. Zebras have a coat of black hair and the white stripes are the decorative part.
6. But their stripes also serve the purpose of identifying individuals. No two zebras have the same pattern of stripes. It’s like a fingerprint. They also might serve as camouflage against tall grass and makes it difficult to distinguish one zebra from the next when they’re running in a group.
7. While zebras rely on colorblindness and their monochrome patterns to confuse predators, scientists believe that zebras can see in full color, which makes them sort of unique in the mammal world. It is thought, though, that the are not able to see the color orange.
8. Zebras can run at speed of up to 65 miles per hour in bursts. They also travel great distances to migrate to new food sources, one journey sometimes being 1,800 miles long.
9. Zebras have an excellent sense of taste and smell and their eyes, placed on the sides of their heads, allow them to watch out for predators. They also have night vision.
10. Romans used zebras to pull their carts in the circus. They referred to zebras as tiger-horses.
11. Zebra foals are actually born with brown fur and don’t turn black or get stripes until later.
Unfortunately, zebras are endangered because of humans in more than one way. Not only are they hunted for their fur but much of their natural habitat has been converted into farmland. If you like zebras, be sure to let us know down in the comments below. Also feel free to leave us any questions you may have. We publish a new blog every Tuesday and Friday so, until next time, thank you for reading and good bye for now.
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